Institutional arrangements shape water-related decision-making and water policies, and drive behaviours related to water sharing and use. It is therefore crucial that water researchers, policymakers and managers understand institutions. This article reviews and critically assesses the current knowledge of water-related institutional arrangements. It explains how researchers explore institutional structures, emergence and change. It details how institutions are considered as a response to social-environmental issues through design, fit and bricolage. The article concludes with the most promising topics for the future scientific agenda.

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